Four-time Grand Prix world champion, Sebastian Vettel has been blamed by driver, Lando Norris, for hitting rookie, Romain Grosjean, with a grid penalty before the Bahrain race. He will drop from 7th to 10th place following an incident at the qualifying. A collision between the two racers was imminent and evasive action required.
Vettel’s car was apparently too close for Grosjean and he found out too late and felt “screwed” for getting a point penalty. The penalty grantor is reported as saying:
“The driver of car eight [Grosjean] stated that he was about to commence a push lap when he was overtaken by car five [Sebastian Vettel] and thus slowed significantly to maintain a sufficient gap.”
It is the driver’s responsibility to be aware of other cars traveling at different speeds than one’s own at the start of a race. According to Norris,
“If you look at the end result, he did hold me up in the final corner. And for any driver you have to do as much as you can to make sure that doesn’t happen. He did get screwed over a bit by Sebastian, who overtook him into the final corner.”
Whoever is to blame, Grosjean had to suffer the penalty. Norris had more to say on the subject as he felt impeded.
“I don’t really know what to say, Vettel screwed him over, which isn’t a very nice thing to do in terms of us being racers, we try to respect each other in terms of you’ve got a car ahead you don’t overtake them into the final corner like Magnussen and Fernando in Monza last year as you ruin both of your qualifying laps.”
Others felt that Grosjean didn’t do anything wrong. Haas F1 boss Guenther Steiner was puzzled by the additional punishment, stating
“The grid penalty, we can discuss, but to give him a point. Guys? Where are we living?”
“A point to the driver? What can he do? He should look in the mirror, yes, but then he doesn’t look forward. I don’t know where the stewards are going with it.”